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22 Entries for California 8H

Twenty-two entries for California 8 Hours…

Photo: PWC

A total of 22 cars are set for next weekend’s California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in the inaugural U.S. round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

The event will mark the longest professional race ever held at the famed Northern California circuit, which opened in 1957.

ENTRY LIST: California 8H

No fewer than eight manufacturers are represented, including nearly a dozen GT3 entries that are set to do battle for overall honors in the third round of the IGTC season, following events at Bathurst and Spa.

“This year’s edition being a stepping stone in building up the GT-only endurance race America deserves, it was important to start it from the right foot, with a solid grid bringing diversity and a high level of competition,” said SRO Motorsports Group boss Stephane Ratel.

“We are thankful to the manufacturers, teams and drivers who are supporting this inaugural event.”

Among the cars entered are two of the race-winning Acura NSX GT3 cars, entered by RealTime Racing.

One of their drivers is French youngster Jules Gounon, winner of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, who currently sits second in the IGTC drivers’ championship.

Gounon will team with Utah Pirelli World Challenge SprintX race winners Peter Kox and Mark Wilkins in the No. 93 RealTime Racing Acura, with his fellow Spa victors, Markus Winkelhock and Christopher Haase, remain in the Audi camp, although they no longer share the same car.

Winkelhock is one of the drivers of the Audi Sport Team Magnus, while Haase will be sharing the Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team Land.

Audi, leading the IGTC manufacturer standings, have two more representatives with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and M1GT Racing.

Other manufacturers with a GT3 entrant include McLaren (K-PAX Racing), Nissan (Nissan Motorsport USA) and Porsche (Black Swan Racing, Calvert Dynamics, GMG and Wright Motorsport).

With Spa not counting towards the GT4 title, Laguna Seca will mark the second round season for GT4 manufacturers.

Porsche (GMG and Rearden Racing) and Ginetta (Ian Lacy Racing) will try to repeat its excellent season-opening results at Bathurst, but they will have fierce competition from Aston Martin squads Automatic Racing and TRG.

MARC Cars Australia has two MARC Mazda 3 V8 cars competing in the invitational class, adding more color to an already varied starting grid.

“We are very pleased to see the growth in the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hour race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” said Greg Gill, WC Vision President and CEO.

“With over 20 cars and a balanced amount of U.S. and global teams, this event is going to be excellent. In addition, we have great field of Pirelli World Challenge Touring Cars set for the 2017 season finale on the same weekend.”

Action begins Friday, Oct. 13 with practice rounds with the PWC Touring Car Series also in action during the weekend.

The race s is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. PDT on Sun., Oct. 15.

The latest news, photos and video features from the trusted Sportscar365 web staff.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Good start

    October 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Wish there was more

    • Psychlops924

      October 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Yeah. I especially wish Bentley Team Absolute could go. Next year, maybe

    • Binky

      October 3, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Can see why Bentley wouldn’t make it, but I’m shocked none of the numerous Ferrari, Mercedes, and Lamborghini teams entered.

  2. Juninho

    October 3, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    SRO World Challenge in 2018

    GT,GTS and TC

    SRO SprintX in 2018

    Pro-Pro,Pro-am and Am-Am

  3. lol SRO

    October 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    One- and two-car classes…yep, looks like PWC.

    • Mike S

      October 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Yeah the longest endurance race in North America with just GT classes. Not bad for the first year. It will grow. There are entries here from outside North America (some good ones at that) so that is more interesting than just PWC entries. Dumas, the Porsche factroy driver, hasn’t driven here since 2008 like 365 reported. There is more intrigue than a PWC event by far.

      • Joel

        October 3, 2017 at 11:51 pm

        Don’t forget about the 24hr of COTA

  4. Dan

    October 3, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Nissan has two cars entered, certainly didn’t expect that. I wonder if Always Evolving/AIM are involved in any way? I certainly hope so.

    • Binky

      October 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      According to the entry list, it’s RJN.

      • Dan

        October 3, 2017 at 6:07 pm

        Yeah I can see that I’m just wondering where the cars and money are coming from as Nissan only had a single factory car in blancpain the other car 22 was sponsored by motul and they had only a single spintx privateer Nissan run by AE stateside.

    • Edgar

      October 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      I’m definitely and pleasantly surprised to see them entered. I wonder if we will see their regular Blancpain drivers entered or maybe other Nismo/GT Academy drivers participate.

  5. Alex

    October 3, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Lol. I love how they mention Jules Gounon only for winning the Spa 24 Hours…..yet NOTHING about him winning the ADAC GT title in the C7 GT3. Come on S365….I know you’re better than this….

    • Bob

      October 3, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Complain about the lack of regular ADAC GTM masters coverage if you want, but this race/article is about the IGTC, and Spa is obviously the centerpiece.

      • Alex

        October 4, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        I understand that, but you can still mention a title, even if John pretends that series doesn’t exist….

  6. Matt

    October 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Awww where the Callaway Corvette? 🙁

    • Edgar

      October 3, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      It was never entered in this event. It was listed to participate at the 24H Series race at COTA but it has since disappeared from that entry list. Sad day.

  7. Passenger

    October 3, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    No GM ,Ford or American cars in this racing ?

    • Andy Flinn

      October 3, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      No.

      GM isn’t interested in building or selling GT cars to customers in North America. The PWC Cadillac is the only GT3 car built that has not been made available to customers.

      I would love to see that change and be proven wrong.

      With a proven partner (division of GM?) like Pratt & Miller, I don’t understand that strategy.

      Something about privateer teams possibly making GM or the factory GM teams look bad…. I don’t think so.

      Funny. Privateers are a big reason why Porsche celebrates the lengthy and amazing sports car racing history that marque enjoys today.

      • Issac

        October 3, 2017 at 11:51 pm

        • Andy Flinn

          October 4, 2017 at 12:01 am

          Issac, you just made my year!

          This is the BEST news I’ve heard all year.

          I hope to see one at Daytona, Sebring or Road Atlanta next year.

          If they do race in PWC, St. Pete is right up the road.

          Thanks for the link.

          And thank you, GM.

          • DanO

            October 4, 2017 at 2:30 am

            GM may now say you can do it, but good luck trying to get Callaway to build you one. There’s a reason why the car isn’t on the CoTA entry list.

          • Dan

            October 4, 2017 at 12:35 pm

            Dano, Callaway wants to build them here and in Germany and race them here, the original plan was to rave on in PWC and one is still listed for the 24h series race at COTA by V8 racing.

          • Alex

            October 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

            “There’s a reason why the car isn’t on the CoTA entry list”

            Or…….maybe they WANTED to race there to advertise the car but GM told them after the deadline to commit. Why spend half a million on a race to showcase the car if they weren’t yet approved for the States?

          • DanO

            October 6, 2017 at 7:56 am

            Incorrect. The V8 Racing car is an old GT2/E spec C6.R. It’s not the first time GM have rubbed a third party chassis supplier up the wrong way, only go to grovelling back when circumstances change.

  8. GridS2Plaza

    October 3, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    It would have made for a good ending if GM had allowed the Caddy’s to end their run participating in this event.

    Too bad. It does seem to be disappointing that no American GT3 or GT4 cars are participating.

    This event has good potential. Maybe a little more space between it and PLM would help as well.

    It would also be nice to combine with some type of 3 or 4 hour enduro for LMP3 and other lower class spec prototypes.

    • 996corsa

      October 3, 2017 at 11:49 pm

      Agreed, it would have been a nice swan song for that program.

  9. Issac

    October 3, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    If Nissan is running a factory effort, I hope this means the race will be streamed on nismo tv in its entirety then archived. I have no cable deal

  10. StueyB83

    October 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    While its a modest entry list – Even the B12hr had humble beginnings.

    Should it come down to a close finish, no doubt the entry list will come up a little in 2018.

    Looking forward to the Nissan v Acura battle.

    Would have been fun with Lexus around too.

  11. Jenner

    October 3, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    It’s only year one guys. What’d you expect, 60 entries?

    These ain’t slouchy teams and drivers either. Long and Bergmeister together again. I’ll be there for this one. Also the MARC Australian car, a Mazda 3 with a V8, this i gotta see

    Yeah, where are the local teams? Are any IMSA GTD teams gonna take off their governors and enter the race? What about the Conti Series GT teams? Cadillac? Mustangs? C’mon guys, Laguna is in your backyard. Euros are coming in from across the pond.

    • Andy Flinn

      October 4, 2017 at 12:07 am

      Jenner, the IMSA GTD teams most likely need more than a week to recover from their own endure at Road Atlanta.

      There might not be enough dough left in their budgets as well.

      Perhaps next year they won’t schedule this race so close to what will be the 21st Anniversary of the Petit Le Mans.

      • Kyle

        October 4, 2017 at 8:30 am

        I think it’s the same next year. PLM October 13th, California 8H October 21st.

    • Sol Shine

      October 4, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Well, it’s the Mustang 5.0 Coyote engine in the MARC Mazda 3, if that’s any consolation.

    • Mike K

      October 4, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Maybe they are running here instead:
      http://www.24hseries.com/2017/24h-cota-usa-2017/entry-list

  12. juneracer

    October 4, 2017 at 6:29 am

    i’m sure its all about money. not any prestige in this event yet for a one off for teams in US. not like Le Mans and Spa. unless its factory money or Am seats are sold will there be much interest. not a lot of PR mileage for winning this one, even from a factory backing standpoint…

  13. attackoftheclones

    October 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    There’s more GT3s in the COTA Race and those MARC Mazdas are running both events. 19 GT3s at COTA vs 12 at Laguna. This is a one and done I bet

  14. Elliott

    October 5, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    not many cars, but the quality is what counts…damn good selection

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